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1899 - 1902 













Copyright, 1902, 



To W. W I 

Outward 5 

The Voyage 7 

A Song for Waking 10 

The Greek Galley 15 

The World s Too Long About Us 21 

Les Bourgeois 23 

A Song for Revolution 25 

The Heritage 30 

The Passage 35 

Day and Dark 40 

Retrospect 42 

Sonnets 46 

Ode to the Sea 54 

Ode to the Earth 58 

The Journey On 64 


For E. L 7i 

The Sonnets of Ishtar 93 

Ad Servam 97 

Tannhauser to Venus 107 

Twilight in 

Song H3 

vSonnets 1 17 

Death in Youth 122 

Lullaby 125 

After Death 127 

Women I3 2 

At Daybreak 138 

The Final Word 141 

To C. L. G 143 

The Song of Man 147 

TO W. W. 

/ toss upon Thy grave, 

(After Thy life resumed, after the pause, the 
backward glance of Death; 

Hence, hence the vistas on, the march con 

In larger spheres, new lives in paths untrodden, 

On! till the circle rounded, ever the journey 

Upon Thy grave, the vital sod how thrilled 
as from Thy limbs and breast trans 

Rises the springs sweet utterance of nowers, 

/ toss this sheaf of song, these scattered leaves 
of love! 

For thee, Thy Soul and Body spent for me, 

And now still living, now in love, trans 
mitting still Thy Soul, Thy Flesh to me, 
to all! 

These variant phrases of the long-immortal 

I toss upon Thy grave! 



Outward broad airs, the sea s unshadowed 


And larger voice on shores of lovelier lands, 
Starred heavens of vaster light and night with 

Tender as women s hands. 

Outward the grave processional of hours, 
Each a discovered joy, a solved surmise, 

Days dark in bud that ripening, fall like flowers 
Gardened in Paradise. 

Outward! O throes resolved in mightier song! 

Splendour of nameless deeds, essential words, 
Merged in the large acceptance, in the long 

Pulse of the cosmic chords. 

Outward, where every word and deed is fit ; 

Outward, beyond the lies of name and 

Of sin and ignorance the cause of it, 

Life s prison of fancied flame. 

Outward ! O heart, the secret solved at last ! 

Love that enfolds, unites, and understands; 
Love like the sea, with equal waters cast 

On this and alien lands ! 

Outward ! O free at last ! O steadfast soul 
Calm in the poise of natural things ! O wise, 

How wise is love ! only, beyond control, 
To pass with open eyes ! 


Outward ! Sail ever on thy mystic voyages, 
Cut loose, up anchor from the shores of 

thought ! 

There leave in safety all the dull world s count 
less captives, 
Seek thou the freedom only thou hast sought. 

Thine are the prophets, thine the few, the poets, 


Stung with the impulse of divine surmise; 
Thy chosen ventured while the millions feared 

and faltered, 

Realized the rapture, dared the great sur 

Outward! For, ever as of old, the deep sea s 


Ever new skies to lift and lighten, lie 
Far down the dusk of day-break from the 

shores proved pathways 
Pathless to perilous eternity. 

[Yea! tho the friendly wharves are all aflame 

with faces, 
Yea! tho their anger rave in foolish 

Outward! Their hands would hinder but 

their hearts are fearful; 
Leave them their fetters, Thou shalt not be 
bound ! 

What tho they cry "Time s hosts have trod 

our ways of life out, 

Roads, charts and lamplight, ours the val 
ued prize, 

The proved!" Thou sayest "My goal how 
dim, my seas how trackless, 

My risks how vast!" Then leave them to their 

Shake down the sails to catch the blood-red 

drift of sunset! 
Haste ! lest they hold thee slave among the 

Thou shalt be outcast of their laws and scorned 

and homeless : 

The sin the world blames is the sin that 


Outward ! The sail full-breasted swells against 

the night-fall, 
And now the world where blind men lead 

the blind, 
The world of laws and lies, of safety and 

The prize, the conflict, all is left behind! 

Outward! O haste! The flushed fresh mouth 

of dawn is calling ! 

Outward ! O space at last ! O light at last ! 
Steer where the comrades wait thee, journey 
ing still, still outward, 
Wise in a conscious and perfected past. 


Ere the blossom of sun from the mystical bud 
of the twilight is tenderly, hugely un 

Ere the lion of light from his lair in the womb 
of the shaken, green sea-shadows leaps 
on the world, 

Ere the masterful mistress anad mother of life 
is released as a child from the womb of 
the night, 

Ere the echoing bell of the heavens resounds 
with the rush of the resonant pinions 
of light : 

Ere the day is declared and the globes of the 

dew are filled full of the splendour of 

opal and pearl, 
Ere the foam-lilies dropped from the lap of 

the storm are as roses that blush at the 

breast of a girl, 


Ere the aisles of the forest are heavy with dusk 
and are sweet with the murmur and 
marvel of birds, 

Ere the dreams of the slumber of earth are de 
stroyed and she utters her hymn of in 
effable words : 

Thro the drift of the derelict airs, thro the 

wind-trodden seas that are windless and 

weary with foam, 
On the strength of the shouldering tides and 

the roar of the refluent surge down the 

beaches of home, 
Comes the dream of the darkness of light, the 

frail flush of the feet of the dawn down 

the ways of the sea, 
Thro the measureless sound of the marching 

of tides where the steeds of the tempest 

rode fiercely and free ! 

Comes the delicate rapture of crimson as mute 
and intense as the dream of a passion 
ate deed, 

Comes the miracle faultless as fire and fierce 
as a heart where desire is sown as a 


Comes the glow like a prayer on the lips of a 

prophet whose eyes are aflame with the 

vision of God, 
Comes the flush like the solemn delight of the 

love that can waken a soul in the brute 

or the clod. 

And the silence is rich with the promise of 
song as the face of a child in the still 
ness of sleep, 

And the pause of the perfect fulfillment is grave 
as a death on the midnight when sum 
mer is deep, 

And the joy is the joy of a woman, her love 
and the light of her face and the sound 
of her feet. 

And the calm is profound as the calm of a soul 
risen freely from life with his knowl 
edge complete. 

Over exquisite wind-dappled meadows that 

cover the foot and are fresh as a night 

in the fall, 
Where the airs scarce remember the rage of the 

tempest and darkness is deep round the 

world like a wall, 


Let us forth, ere the skies are washed empty 

of stars as the wind-rippled floods of 

the day-spring run free, 
Let us forth where the welkin is stately with 

sound and the headlands are held in 

the cleave of the sea! 

Let us leap from the scattered sweet shadows 

of slumber and venture our lives on 

the charger of youth, 
While the sunrise is closed as the lips of a 

girl ere the kiss of a lover has kindled 

her mouth, 
Till the languid, low airs smitten shrill with 

our passage re-echo the thunder of hoofs 

as we ride, 
Let us press down the perilous ways of the 

present our steed tho he bleed neath 

the rowel of pride ! 

Let us press in the hidden wet ways of the for 
est filled full of the shadows and 
sounds of the past, 

Let us travel the fields by the River of Years 
till the ways of the waters are open at 

And our steed shall be staunch tho he weary 

and wince at the spur, tho his nostrils 

are purple with blood, 
For the craving of Soul and the power of 

Love, for the freedom of Faith and the 

friendship of God! 


The sound of the sea, the sway of the song, 

the swing of the oar! 
Out of the darkness, over the naked seas, 
Our galley is come 
With a shiver and leap, 
As the blade bites deep 
To the sway of back and the bend of knees, 

As she drives for home 
Out of the darkness, over the naked seas, 
To the sound of sea and the sway of song and 
the sweep of oar ! 

The scarlet stars swing low to the ocean s floor 
Made silver and pearl by the slow resurgent 


And the waters -break 
To a leprous wake, 
As over the sea the ripples shake 
Between dawn and dark, as for life s 

sweet sake 
The battle of life is fought and won, 

And evermore, 

To the sound of sea and the sway of song and 

the swing of oar, 
We sever the sentient silences 
With our wind and \vay, where over the 


The surf booms steady and strong on the 
scented shore. 

Over the sea s unfurrowed fields 
The miracle spreads and the darkness yields. 
O heart that breaks in the strain and stress 

Of sinews bent to the tempered oak ! 
The golden gates of the dawn express 
Sudden and soft as a girl s caress, 

A glimmer of grass and a flash of wing, 
An echo of prayer to the censer s swing, 
And the altar s pillar of purple smoke. 

And over the spray that the rowers 


Wide over the tide where the foam- 
drifts cling, 

As the rhythm of muscle and music 


To the sound of the sea, the sway of the song, 

the sweep of the oar, 

To the crash and cream of waves on the bounti 
ful shore, 

The spring breaks scented over the sea ! 
With a leap of sunlight under the lee, 
As she dips her side 
To the masterful tide 

And lists till the bilge distills through the cy 
press floor. 

O, the lift of blade! O, the clinging and shift 
ing of naked feet ! 
The coil of muscle that stiffens and swells to 

the delicate beat 
Of breath in the nostrils, of blood in the 


As the earth-smell steals to our sense again 
From the pebble-blue beach where the shadows 
lie wet and sweet ! 

We have fought in the noon for breath 
To the sound of sea and the sway of song and 

the sweep of oar; 
Our bodies would swing at the oars in death, 


Nor the rhythm of muscle and music cease, 
Nor the weariness end, nor the sad sur 

Of sorrow absolve us : but evermore 
Our bodies would swing to the pitiless oar 
Till the goal was reached, 
Till the galley was beached, 
Till we tasted the spring in the forests 

and pleached 

Gardens and vineyards of Greece on the plen 
tiful shore! 

The flurry of foam flecked red as the dawn 

looks over the trees, 
And ever the motion of song and the pulse of 

ineffable seas 

That empty and echoless break on the ex 
quisite balance of air, 

And tenderly winged on the morning, a per 
fumed and delicate breeze, 
Where the scent of the sacrifice floats with 

the distant refrain of a prayer, 
Where the cry of a bird and the whisper of 

grass and the lowing of kine, 
Are borne thro the thunder of waves and 
the smell of the brine. 

And behold! We are come, we are there, we 

shall pass thro the fringes of foam 

To the sound of the sea and the sway of the 

song and the sweep of the oar 
And the galley be lifted and leap like our 

hearts for the rest that has come 
A spot of sunlight rolls on the reeking floor ! 
She shall shiver and strike thro the sun 
dered spray, 

And the clean, fresh sand where the ebb 
tides play 
Be gored and gashed with her eager 


And our feet shall feel 
The swash of sea and the crawl of sand 
As we leap to land 
And pause and kneel 
To the sound of prayer, 
While thro the air 

The dawn expands till the shadows are passed 
And the noon is over the sea at last ! 

With our women and slaves, with our oxen 
and vines, we shall pass from the roar 

And the sound of the sea, the sway of the song, 
the sweep of the oar 


And stand where the burden of spring on 

the brows of the hills 
Is heavy and wet where the blowing of 

pipes and the running of rills 
Persist in our ears. In the warmth of the 

sun and the wash of the wind, 
In the ceasing of struggle and peace of the 


With the wandering passed, 

We are home at last ! 


The world s too long about us ! Let us go 
Far from the righteous and the ignorant, 
The vacant phrases of familiar cant, 
The trivial loveless women and the low 
Abortive men, the fashions stale and slow, 
The greed of riches and the crime of want ! 

Come ! lest contentment dim the quenchless fire, 
Come ! lest we lose from life the magic spell, 
The power of thought, the ceaseless miracle 

Of day and night, the youth of love s desire. 

Come ! lest we wear the livery, take the hire, 
And prove in virtuous platitudes tis well. 

Come ! lest we take the thralldom and the food, 
Accept the hire and kiss the master s hand, 
Or hear, obedient to the world s command, 

Our praises from the Ciceronian "good" ; 

Or feel the shame of being understood 
By those we know can never understand! 


Earth knows our bodies, heaven our conscious 

souls ! 

The world is ignorant of all but name ; 
Come! let us fear its praise and seek its 


Take larger motives that ignore its goals, 
And blow a fire within life s smouldering 

To scar its social erebus with flame! 

Come ! We can feel, dilate with endless air, 
The journeying seas, or watch our Paris take 
New moods of laughter, or the sun-God 


Low down the Nile, the splendour of his hair. 
Extreme in joy, extreme in soul s despair, 
Come! Let us dare to go for sweet life s 

Life s choice is this : the world or all the rest. 

The heights are lonely and the depths are 

Haply too weak of soul I miss the mark 
And fall below the world s unloveliest 
Level of littleness I say the best 
Is mine, I venture life s extremest test. 

No failures quench the Truth s eternal spark ! 



Be silent ! Let them laugh and lie 

Nor speak nor heed but come away; 

In truth they neither live nor die, 
More vain than gaudy flies that play 
And perish in the vital day. 

By rule and custom, time and place, 
Secure in noise and littleness, 

They live and laugh and lust a space, 
Incurious of themselves lest stress 
Of truth annul their nothingness. 

Their borrowed praise, their hired blame, 

Their timid platitudes, their greed, 
The virtue of their hidden shame, 
i The vices of their sordid creed, 
Are theirs to serve a social need. 


Their crime then ? None ! Their lives are food 
To vainer things, and they shall seem, 

Afraid of sin, too weak for good, 
Once vanished, like a stupid dream 
That never was and now my theme! 

Be something, good or bad ! Be real ! 
They are not, we ll take issue here 

Against them ! not for base ideal 
Or murdered truth, but for their mere 
Respectability, the mood of fear! 



Tho the red-litten cities are shameless and the 

rulers are guilty with gold, 
Tho the lips of the prophet are flameless and 

the shrines of the sacrifice cold, 
Tho the shadow of freedom departed lies deep 

in the paths where She pressed, 
Tho , a goddess, She grieves broken-hearted for 

the children who starve at her breast, 

Tho the forehead forsaken of bay-leaves is 

bound with a circlet of blood 
And the sweat that the labour of day leaves 

brews the wine of the mercy of God, 
Tho we lose all the loves that besought us, tho 

our children rejoice in their chains, 
Still we cling, as our visions have taught us, to 

the faith of our raptures and pains! 

And tho Nations forsake the desire and the 

faith of immutable things, 
Tho the earth be subdued for their hire who 

rejoice in the cities of kings, 


Tho the whole earth be theirs for their pleas 
ure, and every man master or slave, 

Still the sea can afford beyond measure the in 
heritance perfect we crave! 

We can pass where the sand on the shore is 
made smooth as the breast of a girl, 

Where the waves whisper marvellous stories 
and the tideways are lustrous as pearl, 

Where the crest of the breakers in onset sub 
sides in a welter of blood 

As the flame of the sword of the sunset is 
plunged in the breast of the flood; 

Where the sea-splintered lightning of noon 
lies in the lap of the long afternoon, 

By the fire of the pharos of moonrise, with the 
faultless, frail feet of the moon, 

Over meadows of midnight where starlight 
lies scattered like dew on a lawn, 

Let us forth so we follow the far light of free 
dom, the soul s light of dawn! 

Let us go with the wind and the twilight be 
hind us, the rain in our hair, 

With a star on the brows of the shy night in in 
effable heights of the air ; 


The wide waters before us shall whiten, the 
horizon that bound us be rent, 

And no longer our hearts as they lighten shall 
grieve or complain or repent! 

We have seen that the progress they praise is 

of tears and enslavement and blood, 
Tho they honor with blasphemous phrases 

their crimes as the service of God ; 
In their mines where the serfs they control 

press, in their factories reeking with coal 
They must labor until they are soulless, and the 

birthright of man is his soul ! 

Tho* rejected of men we seem friendless, yet 
all nature itself is our home, 

For we come as the last of an endless proces 
sion and sing as we come! 

But they, faithless and cold to the kernel, with 
their minds in dogmatic control, 

They have lost the divine and eternal strong 
joys of the body and soul! 

And we bear as our brothers before us the mes 
sage eternal and new, 

The exultant, unspeakable chorus of the souls 
that are tender and true, 


And our word for each comrade is, "Thee- 
ward all joys in the universe trend, 

"If them darest with us to go seaward, on the 
seas of the soul without end! 

"If thou darest go forth from the phrases that 
cheat, from the laws that restrain, 

"From the shrines where the high-priest who 
prays is untrue and the servant of gain, 

"Then the light and the love shall not perish 
but endure to illumine the years, 

"For the fire of rebellion we cherish is Prome 
thean and ours by our tears." 

It is naught if the loveliest spaces of earth bear 

the soilure of greed 
For a day or an aeon effaces the purpose, the 

profit, the deed; 
It is naught if they bring us disaster, if they 

blacken the skies in our ken, 
But we weep for the slave and the master, for 

the stunted and loveless, the men ! 

It is naught if a man be defeated, it is naught if 

he suffer and die, 
It is naught if he starve and is cheated by the 

greedy who pillage and lie, 


It is much if reduced to a fashion or bound in 

whatever control, 
His body is scanted of passion, or he forfeits 

the light of his soul ! 

And we whisper to all men and women, "Lo ! 
the light is at hand, and the way, 

"Be it strange, be it guarded with foemen, is 
broad as the justice of day; 

"You shall no more be joyless or lonely, our se 
cret shall amply suffice, 

"For man s world is a fashion and only man s 
body and soul are of price !" 



O, say in the splendour of days that await us, 

the scope and desire of midnights to be, 
The fruit of what powerful passions shall sate 

us, what Truths more effusive shall 

make us more free ? 
.What new depths of the soul shall we seek and 

discover, what strength of the body, 

what heat of the heart? 
In the dream of the seer, on the lute of the 

lover, what secrets shall yield and what 

melodies start? 

Shall the days be more ample and florid before 
us, the large nights more pregnant of 
mystical birth? 

What fresh voices shall peal what ineffable 
chorus, what beauty revive the old leg 
ends of earth ? 


The old ramparts of thought, shall they fall 
and be shattered? The old barriers of 
Love, shall they splendidly fade? 

Shall the heavy heaped dust of remembrance 
be scattered, our pleasures by loftier 
joys be repaid ? 

Since the rapture of Life is the longing that 
rages and Truth is the wisdom that 
kindles to flame, 

So the judgments of God and the laws of the 
sages, man s virtue and evil, his praise 
and his blame, 

Shall be fused in the Truth of what new reve 
lation, dissolved in the floods of what 
limitless light? 

As we forfeit our hearts to what new expecta 
tion, what senses shall thrill to what 
nameless delight? 

In what wise shall the lips of our new loves 

grow fervent, what dreamed-of caresses 

lie warm in their hands? 
Than the Gods who made Sapho their priestess 

and servant, what lovelier Gods shall 

inflict their commands? 


When the altars of Love are heaped up over- 
measure, when the passion of love 
grows intense as despair, 

What embrace shall afford what unbearable 
pleasure, on what breast, in the perfume 
and dusk of what hair? 

And the elder grave Gods we have chosen and 
cherish, bright Gods of our youth that 
were sumptuous and young! 

Must they fail in the light of new vistas and 
perish as fail in long twilights the pulse 
of a song? 

Shall perfections so distant they seemed a de 
rision, the wild aspirations we dared 
not avow, 

Be revealed in a solvent new vastness of vision, 
attained in a mightier moment than 

Then what holier shrines shall receive our ob 
lation, what visions reveal more ineffa 
ble skies? 

As we pass from the creeds of our old adora 
tion what marvels shall wake a more 
pregnant surmise? 


What new virtues and sins shall complete and 
delight us, what tenderness thrill in our 
hearts like a song? 

In what paths where what marvellous day- 
spring shall light us, what chorus of 
Heroes shall hail us along? 

All the questions are vain yet the day never 

faileth to light the large dusk of the 

limitless past, 
And desire forever in all ways availeth to bring 

all the largess we long for at last ; 
A new ecstasy wakes to a novel desire, to a 

vision more wise new horizons shall 

Tho we will to ring round the huge heavens 

with fire or satiate such passions they 

know not in hell ! 

Tho we will to be God all-receptive in heaven, 

yet our longing To Be is forever too 

small ; 
We are more than we know, as we ask shall be 

given, to ourselves and to only ourselves 

we are thrall; 


With the sword of our will we may rend as a 

curtain the dusk of desires that wince 

and withhold, 
Whatsoever we ask for the guerdon is certain, 

be it dust or the dawn-star, God s 

heaven or gold ! 



Onward ever and outward ever, over the utter 
most verge of the earth, 
With ever before us the perilous vista, behind 
us the laughter and light of the hearth ; 
With the wind of the wilderness fresh in our 
faces, the rain in our hair like a chap- 
let of light, 

As the silent, low shine of the dawn, like a dew- 
fall, is sifted and shed thro the raiment 
of night. 
And the airs shall be smitten in sunder 

Before us 

With lightning and voices of thunder 
In chorus. 


We shall pass over desolate places, strange for 
est and measureless plain, 
And the noon shall relent and the spaces of 

midnight be severed in twain ; 
Over meadows that murmur with fountains, 

where rivers like serpents lie curled, 
We shall pass to the wall of the mountains, 
crouched low on the edge of the world : 
Till the last low ledge of the lea 

Makes division, 
Till the wild, wide waste of the sea 

Fills our vision, 
We must journey in morning and midnight, 

we must travel in sorrow and mirth, 
Onward ever and outward ever, over the utter 
most verge of the earth ! 

Onward ever and outward ever, over the utter- 
termost verge of the sea, 

Out over the tremulous tides and the trackless 
waste ways to the wall of the firmament 

Fulfilled of the light of ineffable spaces, the 
echoless thunder of wind in the night, 

And broad in the burnished blue hollow of 
heaven the endless procession of dark 
ness and light. 

For the fire of the full moon shall waken 

To find us, 
And the hounds of the storm be forsaken 

Behind us ; 
\Ve shall on thro the vistas uncertain, having 

neither beginning nor end, 
Tho as folds of a fluttering curtain the deep 

sea be shaken and rend, 
Tho the sea, where the foam-rivers run white, 

be naked and weary and blind 
As the breast of a shield in the sunlight, or 

black with the scourges of wind : 
Till the great green wall of the wave 

Shall cover us, 
Or the sweet spring grass of the grave 

Blow over us, 
We must on till we fall in our traces, we must 

follow the dawn and be free, 
Onward ever and outward ever, over the utter 
most verge of the sea! 

Onward ever and outward ever, over the utter 
most verge of the Soul, 

Out over the ages resumed in remembrance, 
the priest s and the tyrant s relentless 


The puny divisions of evil and virtue, restric 
tions of men and commandments of 

O, ever the Soul in all paths and all places 
where straying or striving the Children 
have trod ! 
For the Great Gods who curse and defile us 

Shall fear us, 
And all men who hate and revile us 

Shall hear us ; 

And the bonds of allegiance that fetter the 
spirit, the oaths of obedience sworn in 
the past, 

Shall be words of the lesson of life we inherit, 
embraced, understood, superseded at 

We are done with the Gods of our old adora 
tion, we acknowledge they served in 
their turn and were fair, 
But we go, for behold ! after long preparation 
what no man has dared to discover we 
Till the Body and Soul and all time 

Shall be blended, 
Aspiration and virtue and crime 


We must fathom the sense and the spirit till we 
stand self-possessed of the whole, 

Onward ever and outward ever, over the utter 
most verge of the Soul ! 



Now the golden fields of sunset rose on rose 

to me-ward fall, 
Down the dark reverberate beaches clear and 

far the sea-birds call, 
Blue across the fire-stained waters, eastward 

thrusts the chuckling tide, 
Fresh as when the immortal impulse took the 

lifeless world for bride. 

Now the shore s thin verge of shallows keep 
the tense and tender light, 

Now the stars hang few and faultless, dia 
demed on the brows of night, 

Now the moon s unstinted silver falls like dew 
along the sea 

While from far a friendly casement softly fills 
with light for me. 


So it ends ! I reaped the harvest, lived the long 
and lavish day, 

Saw the earliest sunlight shiver thro the break 
ers endless play, 

Felt the noonday s warm abundance, shared 
the hours of large repose, 

While the stately sun descended thro the twi 
light s sumptuous close. 

Now the night- fall Ah ! I guess the immortal 

secret, glimpse the goal, 
Know the hours have scanted nothing, know 

each fragment hints the whole, 
While the Soul in power and freedom dares 

and wills to claim its own, 
Star over star, a larger, lovelier unknown 

heaven beyond the known! 



Beyond the earth is sea, 

Beyond the sense is soul, 
Beyond this life a little sleep, 

Beyond the race the goal. 

I know the earth is young, 

And time a little thing; 
When first the stars harmonious sung 

Thro heaven, I heard them sing. 

Full well I know that I 

Was there when chaos hurled 

Formless and fervent on the void 
The huge and pregnant world. 

Sheer down the endless skies 

We took our furious flight, 
Our wings of flame flapped, vast and dumb, 

Against the ageless night. 


Helmless and wild we crossed 

The eternal seas of space, 
And moored beside the sun and swung 

In our predestined place. 

Pure as a distant song, 

Echoed from south to north, 
The strange first dawn came grave and strong, 

Gigantically forth. 

The sheer black pinnacle 

Of sky grew vaguely blue, 
As down the cold, thin, empty airs 

The red light glistered thro . 

And when the last stars died 

About the noonday sun, 
And on the enormous distance fell 

Daylight s oblivion, 

I saw green tendrils blur 

The acrid plains, the sea 
Suck down between the naked hills, 

Roaring immeasurably. 


Then day retired, night fell, 

Frail breezes shook the air; 
The moon showed large between the stars 

Her void unfaltering stare. 

Thro all the perfect night 

Ringing with silver, I 
Stood in my human solitude, 

Wondering ineffably. 

Then, in response, I heard 

A voice within me sing: 
"I know the stars are very young, 

"And Time a little thing! 

"Always Truth waits beyond 

"Larger and more divine : 
"The immeasurable Past 

"And light and life are mine. 

"Father, O Soul of Me! 

"Thy scope is never whole; 
"Always a new infinity 

"Lies waiting for the Soul !" 


Beyond the earth is sea, 
Beyond the sense is soul, 

Beyond this life, a little sleep, 
Beyond the parts the whole ! 



Cut loose ! Hoist sail ! Leave the familiar 


Of life ! Drive out on love s enormous wind 
Far from the safe small pieties and blind 
Tangles of conscience! O set wide the 


And throw the strong arms open utterly ! 
Go forth reckless with faith and unre- 


Thus only seeking shall you surely find 
The peril and rapture of true liberty ! 
Thus only shall divine discoveries 

Stretch the vague margins of the conscious 


And fire the peaks of more inclusive skies ; 
Thus may we burst the self-created bond 
Of sordid fears and hear life s surges roll 
On shores of truth that always lie beyond! 



Would I were hopeful as the tender leaves, 
Would I were faithful as the myriad grass, 
Kindling conviction in the ways I pass ; 
Would I believed as every flower believes ! 

The pale wheat springs and flowers, the golden 

Serve in their turn the Earth s religion 


Proof of the power and miracle of things, 
That none are infidel and no thing grieves. 

No thing in nature grieves and all things die ; 
Yea! from their burial Life is born anew: 
O faithful grass of graves! perchance 
when I 

Change to the earth s desire, my soul shall take 
Thy lesson of faith and joy and still renew 
My journey onward for the journey s sake! 


The earth is glad of travail and laboring : 
The flower the whole sun s kiss is spent upon, 
The leaves light, as of sea depths smitten 

with sun 

And musical with incessant murmuring, 
Bound as a girdle, the strong sea s silver ring, 
Where thro and thro the deep, clear hair of 

Stars tread the chattering tides and swollen 

with light 
Moon walks beneath the slow dawn s fervent 


Earth, sea, to them the large, fresh, passion 
ate deed 

Of life is glad and wise how wise is faith! 
Life s harvest flowers, death sows the ex- 

haustless seed : 

We probe the intention till the soul has won 
Vista, awake at last! Yea! journeying on 
Equal and wise and free with life and 

death ! 



How long the impassive feet of Time have trod 
The myriads and their monuments to dust! 
How long the frailest, loveliest leaves have 

trust ! 
How long life urges in the reeking sod ! 

The flower is witless of a master s rod, 

The sunlight warms the unjust with the just, 
The he-bird, joyous in his vernal lust, 
Carols in native ignorance of God. 

And, when the travesty of God s control 
And human reason leave us at the last 
Naked before the all-receptive Soul, 

Incurious of the ends of life and death, 

Numb with the monstrous effort of our past, 
We pray the bird for joy, the flower for 



Most lone and loveliest star, in glimmering 


Of twilight hung, as tho the lids of night, 
In one liquescent utterance large as light, 
Let fall the delicate silver of her tears; 

Monotonous music mute to mortal ears, 
Vibrant as birds that cry across the bright 
Silence and thro the distance tense and 


Where loud as life the incessant dawn ap 

Thou art, O star, how like a conscious soul 
Leaving the shadowy shores of life to blend 
Deep in the lustre of its native sea ! 

Or like, in heaven, the pure and liquid toll 
Of one unechoing bell to mark the end 
Of God s rule in^ man s infidelity ! 


How many a wave, O shore of life, to thee 
Has flowed, and murmuring, teased thine 

ignorance ! 
How many a derelict from the winds of 


Has signaled some unguessed eternity! 
The passion and pulse and power of all the sea 
Fills the thin foam with fierce significance, 
And thro the sea-moods, to the deeper 


Pierces the same intention utterly. 
Still, from life s shores to sea-ward, can the 

Glimmering in dawn, spread out a wider 

Of light and vision till shadows flow to 


As one by one we dare include the whole 
Of human change within our scope, nor 

Our hearts to virtue more than sin and 




Mine is the bellowing, all-receiving sea, 

Mine the long beaches blurred with drifted 

Mine the blind earth, the human lights of 

The midnight shuddering, deepening end 

Mine is the world to-night ! Yea ! Mine shall 

Vistas and vaster worlds, a certain dower, 

When after faith, free love and conscious 

Soul dares desire its own infinity. 
Naught can be asked or given for all is ours : 

Ours of all space the cold incessant miles, 

Ours of all time the full, unstinting hours ; 
And ours the sea beyond, that round the warm 

Shores of our being whiles will sleep and 

Breathe thro the soul the epic voice of storm. 




He comes last of the long processional, 

Last of the perfect lovers, doomed as they 
To live ever more lonely day by day 
By all rejected and condemned by all. 

Hands stretch to hold him, passionate voices 


Bright lips beseech him, yet he cannot stay. 
Treading in the large night his outward way 
He learns how much the crowns are spiri 

His heaven is godless since his faith is whole; 
No thing but finds in him a perfect love, 
No flower, no star but buds within his soul. 

Labor and sleep, the warmth of home belong 
To all but him, he feels instead thereof 
His heart s blood smelted to the ore of song. 



Lure me, O musical motions of the sea, 

Thou of the cosmic heart most mighty 

And breathe beside me once again, O ye 

Intimate whispers of the outlawed wind ! 
And grant, O Earth of long maternity, 

While dawn grows golden like an infant 

Who walks the young world s twilight nude 

and free, 
Thy latest child the rest he cannot find ! 

Still as I sought thee soul and flesh were fain ! 

Before the flower of sunset, one by one, 
Scattered its petals like a golden rain, 

Before the twilight clear as amethyst 
Covered my lidless eyes, within my brain 

Seemed, in the lasting silence of the sun, 
All life as interludes of uttered pain 

That scar the lips of Heaven s mute 
Agonist ! 


I am the heir to Time s exceeding dower : 
Ease me, thou minstrel of the changeless 

theme ! 
Now while the midnight yields the mystic 


Of moondawn, violent as a sanguine stain, 

Like love s desire that in night s loneliest hour 

Dawns thro the empty twilight of a dream, 

Mend with thy music-threads of faith and 


Life s raiment ruinous with surmise and 

Moon-like the motion of thy rhythmic cries 

Has lured how many a sea of tears to flood ! 
How many a time thy sacramental sighs, 

Swelling the daedal veins of silence, bring, 
In eastern chambers where the darkness dies, 

Thro Death s half- fallen veil of solitude, 
Desirous tears, sad eucharist of eyes 

Last opening over earth s essential spring ! 

Soon shalt thou feel the miracle of light 
Soft as the distant music of a shell ; 
Thy voice that creeps around the world to 


Breathes from long vistas of deciduous 

Since first thy bitter waters void of sight, 

Sterile of seasons, on earth s valleys fell 
As fall like darkness in the soul the bright 
Burden of life s insuperable tears! 

Soothe me ! For when the sundawn gilds thy 

Poised like love s lotos on life s perilous 


When flower by flower the earth grows open- 
Almost I would to God my soul were 


Where body and soul seem nearly to divide, 
Till, lapsed from life s dark labyrinth of 

I ceased in darker solitudes and wide 

Eventual silence of the ripening dawn. 

Louder than cymbals, on thy silver breast 

The gold of sunrise falls our loneliness 

Ends with the shadows and the vain unrest 

Of life returns like long-familiar pain. 


Grant me the soul s deep truth thy voice ex 

The power to live in human tenderness, 
Yea! tho I pass, repass, and never rest 

Still bound to life and death s immortal 
chain ! 

Then shall the seas of soul be like to thine, 
Endless in stately vistas drowned in sun; 
Then shall I take thy perilous call for sign, 

Then shall I leave the world s familiar 

Seizing the soul s inheritance for mine; 

Then, while the huge horizons merge to one 
All-welcoming sphere, O then the Ship Divine 
Lost in the daybreak shall return no 


O tireless earth ! O earth of long desire ! 
Old earth whence now the gradual leaves 


Earth of eternal seasons, let me feel 
The folded flower of thy returning spring 
Thrill with the urge of life s divine appeal ! 
Grant me, O earth, the faith thy seasons bring ! 

Thro silent airs, from sky to sky, 

The effluent tides of darkness pour, 

With foam of fire against the sunset s shore ; 

And now, as one by one the bird-cries die, 

Singly thine ancient silences redeem 

vSpaces that verge a sea of sleepy sound, 

And, stablished thro the immobile dusk, they 

Like song but lately ceased, while on the 

Of daily life descends the balm of dream. 



O earth across thy sentient sleep, 
Like silent maidens, one by one, 
Meseems thy countless days, dead daughters of 

the sun, 

Their unforgetful journey keep. 
Meseems beneath the masque of night, 
Clear in thy dreams, their large, remorseful 


Always are overflowed with quenchless light; 
While, from their cataract of golden hair, 
Falls an ethereal fragrance and their shattered 


Are swayed with elemental tides of air. 
For surely when the world is fain 
Of thy desire that never dies, 
Thy toil of child-birth stirs again 
The mighty legend of thy memories, 
Till, even as when the feet of Lilith pressed 
Thy fruitless sod and roused the tardy spring, 
Pale in thy florid sleep, thy daughters bring 
Thrills of remembrance yearning in thy breast, 
And this to-night is stirred, as one by one, 
Rain-robed or bright with raiment of the sun, 


Like some processional of barefoot boys, 
They move across thy dream and all their pain, 
Their gifts, too generous, and their splendid 

Seem like loved voices lost and heard again. 


Surely as, when the firmamental airs 
Grow, in a warm and lovelier noonday, sweet 
With flowers thy fruitful bosom bears, 
Forth from thy vistaed memories flow 
Thy life s unnumbered days that tread with 

ghostly feet 

Thy large and dreamful slumber, so 
Seen in the truth of thine essential mood, 
All things that were return and none can die 
Save for the ends of life. God knows if I, 
Tired with all the task of time, 
Died at thy breast, my cold and pulseless blood 
Would stir to feel the essential ichor climb 
The world s wide uplands, or beside 
My cheek the winds grow warm, or on my 

mouth the sweet 
Savour of sunrise, or against my naked side 


The thrust of earliest grass, the chill of dew. 
Yea ! even my mere mute flesh would wake 

O earth of graves and flowers, as thou dost 

The burden of new birth for mere life s sake ! 


Grant me to know thy larger love ! If I 
Alway must go, beneath the self-same sky, 
Thro life and death and can no more depart, 
Grant, if I wisely serve thy large commands, 
That rivers of thine own rhythm drown my 
heart ! 

For now meseems my life is grown, 
Vain as a shattered bowl 
To hold the essential vintage of the soul. 
Change me from small endeavors crazed to win 
Mean ends for aims whose littleness is sin 
To moods profound, effusive, all thine own ; 
Till, flower by flower I understand 
As day by day the miracles expand! 


Now spring from seaward blows, anon 

The winds grow cold as one by one 

They take the withering leaves, thro storm 

and calm 

Thy lips are flowing with the eternal psalm 
Of moving seas, but still beneath the masque 
Of seas and seasons in their tireless task 
Thy mood is silence and thy gift is grace ! 
Tho endless years replenish and efface, 
Thou art as one whose soul beneath the test 
Of human agony and human strife, 
This restless interlude of life, 
Is conscious of eternal rest 
In spheres whose very scope is peace! 
Thou sayest that life shall never cease, 
Yet now I dream that death has ceased to be 
And life has ceased ; Yea ! Life appears to me 
A bowl of Lethean wine whose margin s curve 
Is burned and bitter with the eager kiss 
Of myriads tortured by the thirst they serve. 
While in my dreams thy natural pieties 
Seem as the phases of the soul that is 
But neither lives nor dies! 


And when at last my visions fade to this 
Level of lawn, and when thy silences 
Are mightily stablished, as the emphatic hand 
Of darkness stays the cries of sleepy birds 
And turns the golden breezes blind and bland, 
Then all my dreams, desires and words 
Depart and leave me silent with the deep 
Meanings of silence ; thro my darkened mind 
Light buds, as now, thro tides of warmer wind, 
Stars blossom on the night, and life seems large 

as sleep. 

Then idly, tenderly, my hand 
Falls on thy flowers still fresh with happy rain 
And wise with tears I seem to understand 
The purposes of pain ! 


My lips shall kiss thy brows ! 

Thy blood now in my heart perchance the 

pulse of it! 
Shall fall upon my face from all the thorns. 

Of their dead lives who killed and felt the 

Thy pity, all its justice, vista, faith, 
How utterly dim, unguessed, or briefly seen 
As tho a starred night thro a wall s interstice 
glimpsed or sea-view caught between 
the crouching hills, 

When once, in some long-hence, prepared ar 

Realized and known by me, in me comprised, 
Shall round the soul s slow spheres and lift a 
larger horizon ! 


Then all the strewing of light in all thy ways, 
(Now even I glimpse thee by the self-same 


Shall flow between our eyes incessantly; 
Then as my lips gleam crimson from thy brows 
And feel thy lips the comrades kiss at last ! 

Long hence thou shalt acclaim me! 

In retrospect of mine how many a god! 
Fauns, stream-side nymphs, in twilights of 


Shy hamadryads and reluctant ghosts, 
Ishtar in Babylon who trod 
Hearts of fierce lovers in her wine-press out, 
Setebos, Hapi and the phallic Min, 
Thoth with a mystic wisdom, lahveh, Baal, 
Ra, and the glorious, strange moon-father Sin, 
Golden Apollo with the throbbing throat, 
White Aphrodite in the mid-seas blue 
These, and of all my mythic infancy the dim 

and elder gods, 
Gods that no legend hints, no indirection 



I, journeyed on in paths by them untrodden, 

On seas unhinted in their charts, their indica 
tions, prophecies, 

After an age of years turning, resume, inter 
pret : 

These, now with negligent arms about my 

Grave heads against my breast, deep eyes to 

Come face to face at last, at last acclaim me! 

So thou, Essenian of the later Gods, 
As these my childhood s aspirations one by one, 
After long journeys done, dreams realized, 
thoughts explored, faint indications 

Meet me and mate me with deep, quiet eyes 
I knowing we all are equal Gods at last 
And kiss my naked brows and send me forth 
Vaster by them, by love and knowledge of 

So thou! the pause returned, the vaster task 

resumed, the distance measured, 
Surely my soul shall find thee somewhere wait 
ing then ! 


Surely mine eyes, sphered to how vast a light, 
Shall tally thine, surely my neck shall feel 
The strength and tenderness of thy sweet 

pierced hands, 

Surely thy brows shall share with mine we 
equal Gods at last! the sacred bur 
den of thy human blood, 
The while thy sad, pierced feet, in all my ways, 
Equally go with even pace with mine, by open 
roads, by open seas vistaed before us, 
still untrod, uncrossed by thee or me, 
As we together take the long, long journey on! 

FOR. E. L 

FOR E. L. 

She stands before me till the space grows void, 
And round her form the desert s sterile heat 
Throbs with the tread of strong, impassive 


And song in fanes She builded and de 

The tideless waters swell and fall, the beat 
Of sunlight thrills along her limbs and glows 
On jade and turquoise, and her even brows 
With myrrh and natron seem forever sweet. 

She, child of mightier days and larger loves, 
Stands like a silence in the sound of life, 
And recent things about her beauty seem 

Vain and unlovely as our human strife; 
Wise and ineffable as Truth She moves 
As moves a great thought thro* a foolish 



She moves in the dusk of my mind like a bell 

with the sweetness of singing 
In a twilight of summer fulfilled with the joy 

of the sadness of tears, 
And the calm of her face and the splendid, slow 

smile are as memories clinging 
Of songs and of silences filling the distance 
of passionate years. 

She moves in the twilight of life like a prayer 

in a heart that is grieving, 
And her youth is essential and old as the 

spring and the freshness of spring; 
And her eyes watch the world and the little, 

low ways of the sons of the living 
As the seraph might watch from the golden, 
grave height of his heaven-spread wing. 

She moves in the darkness of Time from the 

centuries large as her spirit; 
From the magic of elder religions when the 
epic desires were strong, 


And the old, grave glories that She, of the liv 
ing, alone may inherit 
Flow back from the har[ of the past like the 
notes of ineffable song. 

She moves thro the trivial days in the might of 

the peace of her presence; 
And, sweet as the death of a child, in the 

still high places of thought, 
Her soul in the hunger of life is appeased in a 

perfect florescence, 

Apart from the shadows and dust that our 
little desires have sought! 



Why are you gone ? I grope to find your hand ; 
The light grows secret as your tenderness; 
My tears that fall for utter loneliness 
Seem sad as sunset in an alien land. 

Old simple words that you could understand 
And only you, are striving to possess 
My lips with utterance and their weariness 
Burns with the fever of a vain command. 

Why ^.j you gone? The large winds, sea 
ward bound, 

Tell of long journeying in the endless void. 
Why are you gone? I strain to catch the 


Of footsteps, watch to see the dark destroyed 
Before your lustrous ringers that would 

Over my eyes and give me strength to sleep ! 



Pour down thy hair between the world and me ! 
Between myself and my exhausted soul 
Spread, in the dreadful vistas where my 


Saddens and fails, thy love s euthanasy ! 
Fold me away from Time and let me be 
Silent and ceased from bitterness, be thou 
Tacit as childhood and thine ivory brow 
Thoughtless, and be thou tender utterly! 
Strength, give me strength to spare the futile 

tears ! 

Give me the consciousness of something 
proved : k 

Faith, wisdom, personal and briefly true. 
I sift the scant earned knowledge of my years 
Like dust between my hands, and all I loved 
And hoped and dreamed dissolves and blends 
to you ! 


She turned the falling light to fire, 
Dull fire throughout her sombre hair; 

It seemed She phrased the world s desire, 

Desire that woke with fervent prayer 
Thrills of a secret wonder everywhere. 


Her eyes caught splendours from the sun, 
Vague airs grew warm about her face, 
She saw the fire-stained ripples run 

And sing to sleep the smouldering space 
Of sunset and sink whispering on her trace. 

Height over height the skies caught fire: 

She watched the red contagion flow, 
The wide, wild wings of flame aspire 

Till heaven uplifted seemed to grow 
A huge, domed sapphire paved with crimson 


Her lips were still and marvellous, 
But, like a lute whose silence sings, 

Her hand fell warm in mine and thus 

Told me imperishable things : 
She held my senses as a perfume clings. 

My mind was like an ancient town 

Of shadows carved in moonlight, there, 

Like dreams thro latticed casements blown, 

The twilight of her endless hair 
Brought stately visions, sweet and sad and fair. 

Along the towers and walls of thought 
They hung bright banners flown with 

The crooked, unlitten byways caught 

Their fires, and, as they passed along, 
My dull, wild heart woke strangely and was 

So fire fell back from sky to sky, 

Night deepened down the purple sea : 
She turned her solemn eyes and I, 

In wonder and in certainty, 
Still touched her hand and still it sung to me. 



Thy breast is stainless as a star, thy hand 
Is calm and white and slow and them dost 


Sweet as a long-remembered song of home 
Heard thro the twilight of an alien land. 

Thine eyes are pure and still, they understand 
More than our thoughts surmise, and stately 


Hover about thee and thy presence seems 
Calm with a ceaseless custom of command. 

With memories of thy face the ways of time 
Are splendid, and my hours divinely stirred 
With tremor and silence as of unshed tears. 

Thou dost resume, as tho the sea s sublime 
Music were uttered in a single word, 
The warm magnificence of earlier years. 



O murmur and passionate silence of to-night ! 
Earth of sublime arrival ! Let there creep, 
Like music thro the muffled gloom of sleep> 
Tremours of Life s imperishable might, 
Whether from airs that range the steep starred 


Of heaven, or where the delicate dew is deep 
On grass and flowers, or where the bird-cries 

Loud down the pathways mute and bare with 

Fabric of night, O easeful rest, O airs 

Kissing Her cheek, O flowers that feel H>r 


O, Life, O earth s impetuous utterance! 
We stand to-night the fit and faithful heirs 
To Life s inheritance, the power, the sweet 
Strong motive, and the Soul s ecstatic 
trance ! 



Star of the sumptuous dusk and silent air, 
Thou loveliest child and latest-born of night, 
Jewel that binds the solemn brows of light 
Swept by its lustre of luxurious hair; 

O star of sundawn like a thread of prayer 
Weaved thro the fabric of a song of bright 
Echoes and passionate notes of life s de 
light : 

O throbbing heart of heaven, unstained and 
bare ! 

Thou, in thy twilight, art as tho her hand 
Dawned thro the glamour of a gorgeous 

dream ; 
And as to me her loveliness is shed 

Thro depths of ancient time, I see thee stand 
Exalted and thro endless space thy beam 
Fall pure and steadfast on the world I tread. 

. ix. 

She moves beside the leaping sea, 

Along the beaches fledged with foam; 

The winds go seaward wearily, 

The waves seem children straying home. 

The golden breath of day retires 
Between the crimson lips of cloud, 

She seems, amid the smouldering fires, 
Like starlight thro a burning shroud. 

I say "The toiling sea is old, 

"The function lasts, the form is change; 
"Yon wave that falls in splintered gold 

"In every drop is fresh and strange. 

"Thine eyes are deep as fluent pools 
"Of starlight Yet despite of thee 

"The world despairs of death O fools, 
"Behold the fresh and stainless sea ! 

"The sea that felt the loveliest far 
"And eldest God of earth transpire, 

"Her flesh more radiant than a star, 
"The sea is young and cannot tire! 

"The myriad waters run in ways 

"Where moved a million tides before, 

"So you aspire thro all my days 

"The same yet strange for evermore!" 


The sunset spins its splendid skein, 
The sea-birds pass with fearless eye, 

The daylight falls in golden rain 
To gardens of a vaster sky. 

I say : "Like some sonorous bell, 

"Flame-forged to call for war or prayer, 

"Debased to chime a vulgar spell 

"And phrase the pain of vulgar care, 

"So they, for whom their lies suffice, 
"Who fear the splendid task of love, 
"Who choose the world and pay the price, 
dead, their lives are proof thereof ! 


"But now they seem as something gone 
"A long, long while, and I may stand 

"And hear the calm sea-monotone, 

"And watch thy face and touch thy hand." 


The stars come few and full as tears, 
The dark absorbs her fold on fold; 

She seems a song of earlier years, 
A myth the lips of heroes told. 

She turns, the twilight clothes her shape, 
The sands she treads seem moist with blood ; 

Measured and low from cape to cape 
Sea-music thrills the evening s mood. 

I say "The wondering-up of love, 
"The float of incense and the gloom 

"That warmed of old thine altars, move 
"About thee like a dull perfume. 

"And like a ship of glimmering pearl, 
"My heart adventures far to sea : 

*The urge of wind, the breakers curl 
"Seem promptings of infinity. 


"Day dies and night along my trace, 
"Thy hair, the gloom and glow thereof, 

"Surrounds me, and thy solemn face 
"Is dawn across the seas of love! 

"Behold thou art like sleepy wine 
"In all my sense, and now at last 

"Thy human hours of life are mine 
"And all thy; strong, sonorous past !", 


Ours is the day of soul-despair, 

The glimmering faith, the scanted sight ; 

But thine the dim, deserted night, 
And, dark as moonlight thro thy hair, 
The stately, solitary air. 

Ours are the years of foolish strife, 
Of small desires and smaller gain; 
But thine, beyond the toil and pain, 
Inert, unstirred by death or life, 
The changeless Truth that proves us vain. 

Ours are the trivial joys, the tears, 
The toil whereat our lives are priced; 
But thine, with nothing sacrificed, 
The harvest of unnumbered years, 
The silence where the soul appears. 

Ours is a short, sad sentience, ours 
Brief time and then forgetful sleep; 
But round thy face thy memories keep 
Strange vigil, and the lotos-flowers 
Of Egypt scent thy living hours. 


Ours are the life and death that seem, 
Ours is the race, but thine the goal, 
And thine the calm, unhindered soul 
That holds the dreamer and the dream 
As notes in one harmonious theme. 

We damn and praise, we crown the few 
.With power and fame a fading wreath ; 
In thine alembic Life and Death 
Unite : beyond our partial view 
Thy calm eyes know that all is true ! 

Thy vision sphered to vaster skies, 

Thy breast that keeps, serene and strong, 
The pulse of earth s eternal song, 

Thy hands that stir not and are wise, 

Thy face of epic centuries, 

Thy soul that sees beyond the tomti, 
Thy faith of wise and perfect love, 
Thy heart that time is lyric of 
They know thro life and death we come 
Thee-ward like children straying home. 



Thine is the silence of a night of mist, 

Thine is the wonder of a night of stars, 
Thine is the body, a solemn eucharist, 
And thine the face, the eyes no shadow 

Save of thy hair the twilight pale as amethyst. 

Thine is the voice, phrased echo of the sea, 
And thine the mood of statues black with 


Staring, inert, with eyes too tense to see, 
Eastward thro deserts desperate with 


Thine is the day-spring of the world s eter 

Thy breast is perfumed of forgotten flowers, 
Thy dreams and destinies are old as youth 
That thrills, in chorus of memorial hours, 
The longing and the laughter of thy 

mouth ; 

Thy soul is proud and calm with long-immor 
tal powers. 


Thine is the portent of a deathless thing, 

Thine is the passion of a mortal change, 
Thine is the love Ah God ! to cleave and 


And thine the lover, violent and strange, 
To tune the lyre for thee, despair and break the 


Lest song turn discord tried beyond its 
range ! 


Thine is the joy of life s transcendent hours, 

Thine is the grief of childish memories, 
* Thy footsteps seem to fall on fragrant flowers, 
Strewn for the feet of grave Divinities; 
Thine eyes recall forgotten pieties. 

Deep in thy breast the sacred perfume lingers, 
Breathed from the lotos that were wont to 


Rose o er the sistrum in thy rhythmic fingers, 
When thro the shrine s mysterious twilight 


Thy voice and all the unseen respondents 

Thine are the powers of Gods that now are 


Still on thy face there seems to fall the glow 
Of fires that flared on shrines for ages flame- 
Still where the diadem pressed thy faultless 

Heavy with gems, the dimples linger now. 


Age after age the myriads live and perish, 
Their s ;the harsh conflict and the sordid 


Thine is the wisdom souls alone may cherish, 
Thine is the truth that heals the essential 


Of time and change and makes death s con 
quest vain. 

Life is a spark the night of death encloses, 
Somewhere is sunrise if the soul is sooth; 

And thou in life s brief hour of thorns and 


Show us the fashion of a deathless yottfh, 
The solemn portent of a final truth. 



I am the world s imperishable desire; 
Life is because I will, for hope of me 
Life is, nor all the dark depths of the sea 
Could quench mine eyes light nor my body s 

Fresh hyacinth and the violent rose suspire, 
The black clod breaks to green eternally, 
Sap thrills to parturition the naked tree, 
Of all things living I only cannot tire. 

I am the world s interminable sin; 

Yea ! In my power and lust beyond control, 
Things mortal wage the war of life and win. 

For me the slave defies the master s rod, 

And while the antique pride swells within 

his soul 
The man reclaims his liberty of God! 


My face lives always in the quenchless light. 
Frail gold of twilight burns across my breast, 
The red dusk girds me and my limbs are 

In warm, wan shadows deepening down to 


My hair, red gold on brows of faultless white, 
Inspires earth s children to my fatal quest ; 
.Youth s passionate face in mortal hope of 

Grows blind against me, wearying of my 

With ravenous lips men scourge my lustrous 


And crowd the quivering dusk with name 
less sin; 
Death takes them, still insatiate, from my 


Viewless, my feet pash down the one who dies, 
While, sprung aloft from earth he festers in, 
I watch the last-born laughing in mine eyes ! 


Once was my name as fire, and once my wine 
Flushed in the veins of youth, and once the 


The wise, the lyric, leaped beneath my thong 
Of love and hailed me human and divine ! 
Mine was the world s confessed desire and 


The echoing thunder of the seas of song, 
Priests, virgins, youths a florid, sumptuous 


Gave me luxurious service at my shrine ! 
Now tho , bereft, I seem perchance as one 
Smothered in night whose memory keeps the 


The fire and huge transcendence of the sun, 
Still, in the apostate world, my fight I know 
Is won, and still the lips of manhood crush, 
And still the pained blood throbs thro limbs 
of snow ! 



For me, the eldest and the loveliest God, 
For me and for my equal happiness 
The woman aches with sweet maternal stress, 
The slow seed breaks beneath the reeking 

For me the strong, swift feet of dawn are 

With fire, for me the flowers frail petals 


Fearless and faithful, and warm winds ca 

The violet sea-ways where of old I trod. 
For me the long, resounding years return 
With gradual seasons, and the stately sun 
Shepherds thro void infinity his brood ; 
And only thro my knowledge man may turn, 
To larger consciousness the soul has won, 
Leaving his outworn body for my food. 




Day through, night through rest never gave its 


Life unfolded never its heart s rejoicing, 
Sleep stood wrapped in visions of endless 


Pale and relentless. 

Dawn spread fire, the moon with its meagre 

Died, the trees grew full of fresh sound and 
shadow ; 

Bit with flame the implacable night, the sleep 

Shrivelled like parchment. 

Day with dumb, white hours like scourges 

smote me, 
Drop by drop day s river of sunlight drenched 

Sight and sound day s weariness wrought 

upon me, 

Wrought as with iron. 

So was night shed silent as sifted ashes, 
Dim and sweet the invisible spring suspired, 
Voiced with song, earth s passion of parturi 

Toiled in the twilight. 

Over earth the shadows were shod with silence, 

Night descended ample and rapt and faultless; 

Still was rest withholden and, pale and lidless, 

Sleep overglanced me. 


Sleep! Dark page unlettered in life s sad 


Not for me thy cession of ceased remembrance, 

Not for me thy dreamless, impassive mercy 

Thou hast denied me! 

Fierce as fever blurred with fantastic fancy, 
Night through, Life, with resonant lips con 

Violent hands and eyes of incessant silence, 
Smote and enslaved me. 


All my flesh cried : "Symbol of starved desire, 
"Pain of all pains weariest, thou hast cursed me 
"Now with tears and now more cruel with 

"Hurt and caressed me !" 


Then I cried to Death with exceeding anguish, 
Prayed her thus "O, Angel of tender wis 

"Wrap my brows in infinite night, in final 
"Folds of thy cere-cloth 1" 


Then dislimned Life s image; the brawl and 


Ceased ; yea, Life, the implacable Life relented, 
Turned and, mute as tho to disclose its mean 

Leaned to caress me. 


Then I saw the shadowless eyes, the scarlet 
Lips of laughter, lust and of little whispers, 
Whispers low and languid with fierce 

Life was translated! 


Cried I then : "O, pity for me, O mighty 
"Gods of altars white as the limbs of lovers" 
Then She laughed and suddenly, burned and 

Soul was defeated ! 


Thro me smote her silence of stolen secrets, 
Dear, too dear for words and too sweet for 


Till She grew, in subtle and grievous longing, 
Fervent as bloodshed. 


Then I saw the glamour of limbs uncovered, 
Saw the fresh, frail curves of her body broken, 
Saw the mouth, the eyes everlasting vision 
Moist with her passion. 


Soul was spent, flesh severed with sharp de 

Flame on flame the print of her paces smote 

Yea ! the song and sway of her eager body 
Surged in my senses. 


Long I lay immobile, in monstrous struggle, 
Endless waking, weariness tense as harp 

While the sobbing pulse of her blood against 


Beat thro my body. 

Briefly then I knew why the sleepless demon 
Li f e, endured with sorrow and sound incessant, 
Knew why all the veins of my body filtered 
Wine for her thirsting. 



Even Death, the goal and delight of living, 
Wrapped with earth s thick shadows, the sea s 

dense silence, 

Death, I knew, as Life in the day and night 

Paled and grew sentient. 


She, I knew, beneath my unlifting eyelids, 
Dark with dust or blind with the weight of 


She could still, with fiery fingers, sever 
Death from its shadow ! 


Yea! the cool, kind fingers of Death would 
kindle ; 

Sleep is scared and darkness too weak to wall 

Naught conceals my soul from her soul s de 

Slave She enslaves me! 



So that now my body and soul in grievous 
Love cry out "O God, I would choose her 


Fierce caress, tho* even the wings of slumber 
Closed to enfold me!" 


Tho my sleepless hours like fire and fever 
Burn my brain and all of my body suffers, 
Tho my soul is famished, my heart leaps 
out in 


Cries "O thou, Implacable Aphrodite, 
"Thou, whose feet flow flame and whose laugh 
ter lightens 

"Down the trackless ways of the heart where 
bright blood 

"Burns on thy traces ! 



Thou, of Gods most pitiless, sumptuous, san 

"When I burn out body and soul and perish, 
"Let my cinders, sifted thro* some sad twilight, 
"Fall in Her pathway! 

"Where Her feet fall, yea! and beneath Her 


"Let me lie in dust and with dust be mingled, 

"Thrilled as now to feel of Her flesh the burden 

"Bruise me in passage! 

"There, tho stamped and scattered, Her feet 
could thrill me, 

"Yea! till flowers from out of my dust trans 

"Still to lure Her fancy and still to feel Her 
"Mine as she crushed them!" 



I have learned the inevitable destinies 
By sheer endurance of thy careless love! 
Yet with a human and so needful hope, 
A desperate guess, I dare confront thy will 
And task with doubt thy flushed divinity : 
Hear me! O Goddess, hear my last surmise! 

I have watched thy face and seen the seasons 


And now I know that memory cannot be 
Where death is not nor any mortal change. 
Thou art immortal, therefore all thy life 
Is now, the hours go by and leave no trace! 
O monstrous thought! Would I could ask 

thee where 

And how they fare, the insatiable men, 
Lovers of thine whose blood besmeared thy 

Whose wild hearts perished as in fire, whose 



Gleam white as starlight in the paths of time! 
O where s it passed, the strong processional, 
The young men and young women pale as fire, 
Life s desperate mariners who glimpsed thee 


Pharos that lamped the starless night of time 
And sought thee even on death s engulfing 

seas ? 
Tell me of them! Thy brows are pure of 

thought ! 

Yet had thine epic lovers of yesterday 
Lips and strong hands more fierce than even 

are mine; 

Their violent will and weak humanity 
Suffered as mine to feel thy deathless youth ! 
Then tell me for, by heaven, my extreme 


Lies bare before thee if such men who strode 
Young in the young world are lapsed away 
Body and soul leaving no trace at all, 
Then where for me, for me who once forswore 
My sweet Lord Christ, the strong and stainless 


Is triumph or hope or any tenderness? 
Am I more mighty than so much of time, 
So mighty and so wilful of my cause 


That, by extreme desire, I may contrive 

To give thee mortal memory and pain and 


Feel thy heart falter and reduce to death 
The fashion of thy memorable flesh? 
Is this my only hope? Certain it is 
My whole life, harnessed to thine endless task, 
Toils without recompense, a merest tool 
Serving the vast monotony of fate; 
Certain it is that through eternal time 
No death can make the sight of my dazed eyes 
Grow bland or cool my ringers of thy feel ! 
And therefore, drifted in the dreadful past, 
I shall be left a derelict on the shores 
Of thine oblivion that bear, I know, 
Wreckage of all the years and of all men ! 
Certain it is unless O give me power 
And light ! For in the midnight of despair 
I seem to glimpse the dawn of a huge hope 
That fires a pathway to my utmost goal ! 
Not thine the power ! I go from thee to me ! 
Mine is the task to teach my human soul 
The vastness of the immortal mood and thus 
Lift my fierce life to immortality ! 
O hope great beyond all hope yet not vain ! 
Haply I fail yet I have known thy love 


And served with life the soul s divinest end 
Since the extreme of all things leads to truth. 
Therefore I am content. Lift up thy hands 
And pour thy golden cataract of hair 
Over my face, then kiss me through the 

coils ! 

The frailty of my heart that does thee wrong, 
Memory, and grief for human joy and pain 
Shall cease. Behold me fit to bear thy love! 
I will no more desire the sea-wind, cool 
At sunrise, nor the lesser joys than Thou : 
The clasp of friends and the low lights of 



Deep in thy lap I lay my head, 

Deep in my soul thy words resound; 

Thy lips where mine so lately bled 
Gleam like a wound. 

Now, in the sad reluctant light 

The passionate silence of thy mood, 

I feel thy robe s perfume, and night 
And solitude. 

Till in the solitude I feel 

The breaking heart, the dazzled brain 
Pulse with a longing tense as steel 

And more than pain. 

More than all pain and all delight, 
All laughter and convulsive tears, 

More than all sleep in all the night 
Of endless years. 

Thy robe s perfume is deep and warm, 
The dusk is deep and sad and low : 

I cannot save thee from love s harm 
Nor let thee go. 

I have nor strength nor will to save 
Thy life from my desire or me. 

I hold thee, Mistress still and Slave 
Eternally ! 


I am the soul of desire, 

The pleasure, the passion, the prayer; 
O, when shall my love for thee tire ? 

Beloved, thou art fearfully fair 
And I am the soul of desire ! 

I am the soul of desire, 

I call with the tones of the sea, 
With the infinite yearn of the sea. 
I am thrilled with my love as a lyre 
Is thrilled with the songs that transpire 
For love, and I thirst as a fire 

For thee! 

For thy indolent hands and thy hair 
O beloved ! thou art fearfully fair 
And I am the soul of desire ! 

I am the soul of desire, 

O where shall I find thee? 
My love shall consume thee entire, 
My passion shall bind thee! 

For a day and a night and a morrow, 

Thy body and soul shall be mine 
Till the laughter of love and the sorrow 
Are shed thro thy senses like wine. 
Where thy bosom is bare 
My love shall suspire; 

Thou art fair, O beloved, thou art fearfully 

And I am the soul of desire ! 





Strong saturation of sea! O widely flown, 
Far winds of fall, your litanies of pain 
Moan like the music of a wild refrain 
Heard thro the midnight of a feudal town ! 
Young night is lipped with jasper where the 


Burden of evening lights intensely wane, 
And, shuddering seaward from the tawny 

Vague fold on fold the enormous dark comes 

Gusty and fervid as the sleepless sea 

The passionate fancies of a formless fear 
Spring in my nervous brain like monstrous 

flowers ; 
The night, the wind-chant work their will of 

And thoughts like death-bells echoing far 

and near, 
Toll for life s lost, irrevocable hours. 


How many a life must thou the journey keep, 
O soul, thro sexual seasons of the years ? 
O heart, how many a harvest of thy tears 
Shall life s sharp sword of un fulfillment 

The breath of dawn shall blow haply with 

tears ! 

How oft, O heart, O soul, before the deep 
Darkness and still eternity of sleep 
Bring natural justice for life s long arrears? 

Ah! when my rose of life is ripe to fall, 
Pray God I sink thro gardens of the sun 
Till the dead fingers of oblivion 

Constrain my heart, and there lie over me 
The tideless waters and the eventual 
Darkness of death s unlit, unlifting sea! 


Come home to me at last ! Come home to me ! 
Bring me thy youth of tears and great de 

Frail round thy tired head the music tires, 
The music shed between the stars and sea ! 
While still thy youth is echoing with its free 
Love-songs resounding like a storm of lyres, 
Come with thy deeds and dreams; and 

thro the fires 

Of wisdom sift the ash of memory. 
Come home to me at last! Life whispers 


Yea ! thro the mist of passions sad with loss, 
Strong in the sumptuous dusk, the light of 

The light of soul where thou must journey, 

While spring is sweet in all the old dear 

A splendour and a sacrament across ! 



Hush child ! Be still and give thy fingers rest, 
Thine eyes the darkness, and thy lips that 


Hard on the lips of life with fierce caress, 
Ease from their hunger and thy guidele^s 


Ask of the vacant eyes and stirless breast 
Of life s last angel, pale Forgetfulness, 
Peace and release from thought s eternal 

stress : 

She, of life s violent, fervent Gods, is best. 
Peace child! Beneath her hand the fretful 

Of long desire grows frail and faint as 

dream : 

The immediate life is alien to despair. 
Held on her heart seem life and death the same, 
And nothing is at all and all things seem, 
And if life dies thou shalt not even care! 


Then cried the song of Life: "The flowers 

that fall, 

"Spendthrift of perfume, shall return again 
"Fed by the tireless earth and fragrant rain : 
"Far down the glimmering sea the musical 
"Lips of the dawn repeat their clarion call ; 
"Always the heart shall kindle to regain 
"Love s young desire whose very strength is 


"For life is love and love is best of all !" 
Then breathed an elder music : "I am peace ! 
"Peace of the silent soul, sphered in such wise 
"That no thing lives or dies, is pleased or sad 
"In me, where hope and prayer and struggle 

"Wise with my light thy calm and steadfast 

"Beholding death shall not be even glad !" 



Thy lips grow cold against the lips of death, 
And peace shall come: be mild and un 
afraid ! 

Then, in the silence, like a tender breath, 
Life s bloom of fever on thy cheeks shall 


As now the sunset s weariest saffron slips 
Over the moveless pallor of thy lips. 

What tho the lips of love are wet with tears ? 

Life was, thou sayest, magnificent and mine ! 

Youth was possessed of dreams, the abundant 


Thrilled like the freshness of a native wine! 
Behold! The hope of life is death, the 


Death that at last leads outward to the 


Haply forgetfulness shall come. Behold! 

Day is a dream that haunts the elder night. 
Still is the earth so young and thou so old, 
Mute with thy memories flashed like shafts 

of light 
Thro rain-swept days forlorn with beaten 

Thy memories near and real as miracles. 

As Life is stern be merciful and mild, 

Solemn with joy as Life laughs loud with 


Silent as life is shrill. O dying child, 
Be all life is not, then was life not vain 
Since soul proves victor when the fight is 


And peace returns, profound and void of 

Banish the keen regret, the foolish tears, 
Salt on the kiss that burned thy longing 

mouth ! 

Wisdom shall soon be perfect : all thy years 
Harvest blown ashes of the gods of youth. 
Now shall thy grief refrain, thy passions 

cease : 
Silence has come and in the silence peace ! 


Thou must forget or else twere vain to die, 
Death with thy memories is not death at 


Passion and pain and pleasure, thou and I, 
Life and its longings, must, beyond recall, 
Cease or unite or merge and death must 


Like seaward wind that takes the rain-drop 

Death shall forget tho life s immortal power 
That gave thee strength to bear thy human 

Suffer and strive. Thro death the mystic 


Of soul expands until thy youth s wise hate 
Of life has utterly passed in love away, 
.While death prepares the spiritual day. 



Sleep, ah ! sleep in the light of the moon, 
Sleep, ah ! sleep in the shadow of night, 

For the hour of waking is soon, how soon ! 
And swift are the feet of light ! 

Sleep, ah ! sleep in the light of the stars, 
Sleep in the lull of the viewless airs, 

For you wake to the world and its pitiful wars, 
The flesh and its sordid cares. 

Sleep, ah ! sleep in the hush of the heart, 
Dreamless, forget the return of strife, 

When the curtains of shadow are stricken apart 
On the pitiless drama of life. 

Sleep, ah ! sleep in the light of the soul, 

In the measureless strength and the timeless 
peace ; 

Sleep ! and be free of the mind s control 
In the prison of time and space. 


Sleep, ah ! sleep in the endless ways 
Of the shadow of Death, in the cool, kind 

Till the dark is dissolved in the golden haze 
Of the Dawn of a greater birth. 

Sleep ! for haply a night will come 

Where laughter is silent and none shall weep, 
Where the Soul after infinite travel goes home 

At last to an endless sleep. 



She said : 

Where shall my Soul be comforted, 

My Body be satiated 

Since he is dead ? 

She said : 

Since He is dead 

Where shall my lips be fed that blushed and 


Against his lips, and where my fingers cling, 
My arms enfold, my voice thrill whispering ? 
My slow white hands shall fling 
Over what secret, where, 
The shadow of my hair? 

She said : 

Because the Man is dead 

To Thee I yield my soul, Lord God. 

I thought he could not die 

Leaving the vistas of his life untrod; 


I thought the mere desire of love sufficed 

To thwart Death utterly, 

For this how gladly soul were sacrificed ! 

Now He is dead I learn thy litany, 

Lord God, and tame my lyric throat to prayer. 

Once, for his kiss, my lips were red, 

Now pale with tears they taste thy eucharist, 

And all my hair he loved, my sombre hair 

Lies sweet and heavy on the feet of Christ. 

She said : 

Lo ! he is dead, Lord God, my love is dead ! 

Now, leaf by leaf, 

Summer is fallen, earth grown mute and deaf, 

And winter rigorous above his grave. 

In heaven the angels have 

Thy stars for choir and all thy sons for song, 

They live before thy face, 

Glad in the sweet suffusion of thy peace. 

My love is dead; Lord God, I do him wrong, 

Where he lies hid 

Lonely beneath his coffin-lid, 

To pray thy grace in heaven, 

Nor even 

Can I by thee be comforted 

Since He is dead. 


She said : 

Yea ! tho my love be dead, 

I know that never sleep 

Has shed her shadows on his lidless eyes ; 

Always I wonder if the dead can weep! 

The desolate wind is cold above his head, 

The wall of night impervious where he lies 

And shrill with withered things that agonize 

As tho his buried body changed to cries, 

As tho he called to me and said : 

"My lips are jealous of the flesh of Christ 

"Thy lips have tasted in the eucharist, 

"Yea, of the heavy strewing of all thy hair 

"On Christ s sad feet! 

"My hands are jealous of thy sweet 

"White fingers cold in attitudes of prayer. 

"My heart is jealous of thy naked breast, 

"Crimson where late the altar s marble pressed, 

"Where once I took my rest; 

"And in the violent ways of love I trod 

"My Soul is jealous of thy God!" 

She said : 

The stars of heaven are white witfi song, 

The Sons of God forever young ; 

Dark is my love, O Lord, my love is Head ! 


Lonely beneath his shroud he cannot rest 

Save where thy lilies fade against my breast. 

Lord! it would do him wrong 

And prove me faithless, if in Heaven 

My soul grew pure and calm with God; 

If, in the ways of good he never trod, 

My heart were comforted. 

She said : 

I choose the seven 

Sweet sins of love instead! 

She said : 

Summer has died because my love is dead, 

Winter is acrid as his sleepless eyes. 

Yet shall the earth wherein his body lies 

Thrill to the season s sun and soon be riven, 

Till Life, desire and dream of death, 

Leap forth and climb the hills of heaven 

And earth grow violent with spring 

That shall fling 

On the beating of her breath 

Foam of fresh flowers to the stainless sea. 

She said : 

Like the eternal spring, eternally 

Shall love persist in my dead Love and me, 

And Life, the elixir whence all love is fed, 


Shall thrill between us so we cannot sever. 

Lord God, we loved once and forever ! 

For both of us 

Love is more marvellous, 

Whether alone beneath the coffin-lid 

Or lonelier and more desperate amid 

The glad familiar ways of earth we trod, 

Than Heaven with all its stars and hosts of 


With all thy sons immaculately young, 
And Thou Lord God ! 





She said : "O take me ! Let my life become 
"Part of your pleasure. As the rose that leaf 
"By leaf falls scented from the crimson sheaf 
"You loved, even so, until my life is numb 

"And bare with giving, till the total sum 
"Of joy my life contains, to serve your need 
"Is spent, till all the music of my reed 
"Is played to please you, till you leave me, 

"So am I yours ! to love you till you tire 

"Of love. I give so little! yet the whole: 
"The best and worst of me, my body and 

"O take me ! Yours the nobler part, to take 
"Unrecompensed my 1 rodigal desire 
"That pains me and ,, ^uld kill me for your 



He said : "Enough ! I take you and repay 
"Nothing you give, but waste your sacrifice ; 
"I let your body and soul alone suffice, 
"Your fierce love s largess lure me for a day. 

"Held in my power your soul shall cease to 


"Your lips forget their pieties to entice 
"My lips, and death at last shall film with ice 
"Your desolate heart once drained and cast 

"Come to me ! You shall utterly be turned 
"Into my pleasure, till my satiate sense 
"Sickens to see you, till your flesh is burned 

"Dry in my service, till the soul you staked 
"Against a careless kiss is lost, till hence 
"I drive you, with the thirst you nourished 
slaked I" 



She said : "Thank God ! Beloved, I merely ask 
"Sufferance for love and me. My soul ? I 


"It, swift to lose the bauble for your sake, 
"To spill the liquor as I break the flask !" 
She held the cup : then suddenly the masque 
Shattered before him, and the woman, real 
And soul-transfigured with matured ideal, 
Faced him divine to meet her mortal task. 
As sunlight breaks thro vistas grey with 

The breathless truth broke briefly on his 

He paused and felt her fail to understand. 

* She, desolate, shuddered watching him de 

"The miracle of love s divine command 

* Filled him, the gospel of the human heart ! 




"Sweet from my sin I rise before you, rise, 
"Wild as the vision and savour of the sea, 
"Bland as the shadow of sleep s euthanasy 
"Shed between burning lids and aching eyes ! 

"Clothed in love s fire that damns and purifies, 
"Mistress and slave, I yield me utterly, 
"Yours by the gods my love reveals to me, 
"The gods my pitiless passion crucifies ! 

"Love for love s sake my body is born again 

"Thrilled with a new virginity, my soul 
1 "Lends my desire the dignity of pain. 

"For you my lips are fire, my naked breast 
"Profound as sleep and heavens of splendour 

"Over me, shattered with divine unrest!" 



He said, "I take you. Yet the laughter slips, 
"Mocking your sacrifice. Be still! The 


"Is vain since sense with equal joy repays 
"Loss of the soul we crush between our lips. 
"Where s soul, my Mistress, when thy finger 

"Drip wine till candles wither blaze by blaze, 
"And down thy breast no song can fitly praise 
"Pale drop by drop the ooze of daylight; 

drips ? 
"Why vex the mind ? Why ponder Mine the 


" Her gold against my dross ; the sacrifice 
" Damns in acceptance Heart must yield 

the pain 

" Of Heart due reverence, give the greater gift 
Denial ? To scruple so were over-nice. 
"Drown me in all your hair my fingers lift!" 



"Heart to my heart," She cried, "and mouth to 


"Lie close! I feel you like the pulse of life! 
"Desire has pained my senses like a knife : 
"Lie close, that I may know my body thine ! 
"Surely the pangs of love are all divine, 
"And haply tho my ways of love be dark 
"Their depths may kindle with the saving 

spark ! 
"At least my incense floats before the 

"Give me thy lips!" he cried and then his 

Suffered with truth. He said, "My soul was 

"And mine," She said, "Till love disclosed 

the light." 

He fell beside her, "Speak!" he cried, "For me, 
"For me the loveless where is hope?" And 

Soothed him as tho a child who wept for 




I marked the hours beat by beat 
And felt the silent night depart : 
I held her, dead against my heart, 

Beside the loud, incessant street. 

Across the daylight drenched with rain 
I heard the world s familiar strife, 
My fingers held the pulse of life 

That ran the shaking scale of pain. 

Her body, bruised with love s embrace, 
Grew cold, and where her lips were red 
The dawn disclosed them grey and dead 

Her eyes were dumb I kissed her face! 

I kissed her tacit face and laid 

My cheek on hers and caught her hand, 
And guessed if God would understand 

And find the joy of sin repaid ! 

Beside the loud, incessant street 

I kissed her mouth and held her bound 
Between my violent arms and found 

Her mouth intolerably sweet. 

I held her close, Ah ! close to me 

And kissed the scarlet ring that clasped 
Her throat, where all my fingers grasped 

And crushed her life out utterly. 

I kissed her lips, her cheek, her hand, 
My mouth was bitter salt with tears, 
And she was dead. If God appears 

I wondered, will He understand? 


Hear me ! I say to you "This love of ours 
Can never be forgiven; nevermore 
Shall I, in peace and silence, pass my door, 

Sad with October sun and scattered flowers, 
Unhaunted of thy memory as before. 

Nothing is virgin where thy feet have trod 
The byways of my inmost heart, and where 
My Soul stretched flowers to catch the sky 
ward air, 
Thy hands have sown with chaff the fields of 

I know thy love is loveless as despair. 

I thrilled in soul, God knows. my body fired, 
Kindling thy perfect body, for the food 
Whose sweetness proved pain sweet and 
evil good, 

Till Life could no more bear what life desired, 
Until the lips of life were crushed to blood. 


Now there is no forgiveness. Go or stay 
I cannot care, my love has been so great ! 
I am too tired now to love or hate; 

While hour by hour I see, and day by day 
Life s tears roll down the marble face of 


TO C. L. G. 

The old days come near to me like dead women 
with pale and tender hands, 

The gold of their hair shakes down about my 

And the light of their eyes is tawny and sad 
like the light of large, calm sunsets, 

And their silence seems as a fragment of eter 

The old days come near to me and thy presence 

is ever among them, 
The presence of thy childhood fresh and dear 

and dead, 

Thine infancy and mine! 
Linked in a living memory, sad as love and 

death are sad. 




come out with me to the New Gods, I have 

fathomed the lies of the old, 
And the pillars of Paradise crumble and the 
ashes of Hell are grown cold. 

1 have striven and lived and remembered thro 

the range of the numberless years, 
Until strange as a dawn in the midnight the 
goal of my seeking appears ! 

I have dared in the spirit s conception, I have 
shaped with the might of my hands, 

Were the dreams of my ecstasy mortal? Yet 
godlike I wrought their commands ! 

In the twilight of temples I builded, by the 
flames of the altars I fed, 

I have trembled and wondered and wor 
shipped, yea, bled as the sacrifice bled ! 


I have blinded the Soul s aspiration with tor 
ture and triumph and pain, 

I have died for a word, for an idol, for an idol, 
a word I have slain, 

In the fear of a merciless master I have bent 
like a slave to the rod, 

I have turned in my anger and questioned of 
God and the judgments of God. 

I have minted in marble and music the gold of 

the heart of my youth, 
And a maiden s desire has brought me the feast 

of the fruit of her mouth. 
I have folded my love as a mantle over limbs 

that were naked for this, 
I have broken my heart on a lute-string, and 

bartered my soul for a kiss. 

I have lived with my boys and my women for 

lust and the laughter of lust 
Till the Love-Goddess, mortal in marble, was 

shattered to shards in the dust, 
And when Life unrelenting renewed me and 

the soul of me suffered for food, 
I have waked to a new revelation, I have canted 

of evil and good. 

I have damned and divided in judgment, I have 

stablished the bounds of my blame, 
I have tempted the soul with a vision, I have 

menaced the flesh with a flame, 
Till the voice of my God in his anger was like 

thunder of wind on the sea, 
Till I cowered and sinned and was secret, till I 

longed and was feared to be free. 

Till, too weak to face God in his heaven, too 
timid to dare him in hell, 

I defiled him with empty observance and I 
cheapened his name to a spell; 

With a blasphemy cynic with safety, with a 
cowardice born of my greeds, 

With the slime of respectable falsehood, I fash 
ioned a God to my needs. 

I have lied in my soul as I muttered the prayers 

of the priests that I paid, 
I have lied in my heart as I sold it, I have lied 

for my heart was afraid, 
I have lied to the priests and the people, I have 

lied to my body and soul 
All the lies that the meanest of sins pays the 

meanest of virtues for toll ! 


Then I sickened of lies and discovered in 
breathless amazement at last 

Soul and Body, to-day and to-morrow released 
from the ghosts of the past 

That, washed clear with the tears of my man 
hood, song-bright with the poems of my 

Wonder- wide with long dreams and desires, 
my vision was trained for the Truth ! 

Yea! the silence of time and its changes have 

left not a God that was mine, 
Yea! my fashions of faith have been faithless, 
Yea ! my heart has been drained of its wine, 
Yea ! the lips of my women have withered, and 

for gold I have minted my blood, 
But at least I have learned thro the ages all the 
lies of the world and of God ! 

From the Syrian glades where the perfect, pale 

woman grew mortal for love, 
From the vortex of chaos with darkness shed 

under and round and above, 
In the depths of the twilight of Asia, in the 

myriad ways I have trod, 
I have tried all the fashions of living and served 

all the phases of God. 


I have merged in the spirit of Brahma, I have 

prayed by the stream and the tree, 
I have seen how She rose as a portent from the 

bitter, blue ways of the sea, 
In the name of the wise Galilean, by the sign of 

a merciful God, 
I have plundered, enslaved, and smeared over 

the sin with the silence of blood. 

My blood from the altars of Ishtar has flowed 

to the foot of the Cross, 
It has dripped from the dewlaps of Seket and 

Venus has laughed at my loss, 
I have burned in the gardens of Nero, I have 

died in the circus at Rome, 
And the wine of God s mercy I prayed for was 

meagre and bitter as foam. 

I have served all the alien masters still-born 

from my folly and fears, 
I have laughed till I wept in derision, I have 

wept till I laughed at my tears, 
And I cry "Thro the range of creation and 

time I have tested the whole, 
"Then come out with me to the New Gods, the 

Great Gods, Body and Soul ! 


To the Gods who are sure and sufficient, who 

are free and more fatal than Fate, 
"Who can tally the love of a virgin or the heart 

of a man in his hate, 
"Who are wise with a perfect remembrance, 

who reject not a creed nor a crime, 
"Who compassionate all, who interpret the 

ways and the wonders of Time! 

"Who have builded and broken all laws of the 

Heaven and Earth, who are free, 
"Who have lifted the seals from the sunrise, 

made pregnant the womb of the sea, 
"Who have scattered the phantoms of heaven, 

wrecked the thrones of the world and 

their spell, 
"Who have sown and reaped harvest of flowers 

in the fire- waste deserts of hell ! 

"For my God is the friend that I cherish, and 

my God is the woman I love, 
"My God is the Spring on the hillsides, the Sea 

and the marvel thereof, 
"My God is the justice of sunlight unhindered 

by power or pelf, 
"And vast beyond all and inclusive of all 

things, my God is Myself !" 


" BOOK . wxl ON m "